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Monday, 21 May, 2001, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
'Curse' strikes Mummy film showing
Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser return for the sequel of the 1999 blockbuster
The Mummy Returns burst into flames during the final reel
The legendary curse of the Mummy struck when a fire broke out in the projection room of an Edinburgh cinema showing the blockbuster film.

The audience in the packed cinema groaned in dismay when the finale of The Mummy Returns suddenly stopped on screen.

Then they saw the burning cellulloid projected onto the screen leading some to claim "it's cursed".

The manager of UCI Cinemas, Kinnaird Park, Edinburgh, told customers in Cinema 5: "The film's burned. We're trying to fix it so don't leave just yet."

Lots of people shouted 'it's cursed, it's cursed' just like actors said in the film.

Leigh Kelly
It took nearly 10 minutes for the projectionist to reconnect the damaged celluloid and run the film's final five minutes.

The film broke down as wrestling star, The Rock, playing the back-from-the-dead evil Scorpion King, was about to meet his fate.

Complimentary tickets to see any of the films showing at the cinema complex were handed out to the audience whose dying minutes of the Mummy Returns had been spoiled on Saturday evening.

A UCI spokesman said: "Its the second time this week we have had a film break.

"One happened in another of our cinemas, but it was not the Mummy Returns.

It's cursed

"These breaks are very rare. They happen if there is perhaps a slight crease in the film itself.

"That brings the celluoid that bit closer to the powerful projection light. The film gets extremely hot and literally burns up.

"There was never any danger of fire breaking out. Our projectionists are trained to carry out such running repairs."

Leigh Kelly, 15, of Loanhead, Midlothian, who was in the audience, said:"It was quite funny really. My wee brother thought it was part of the show.

"Lots of people shouted 'it's cursed, it's cursed' just like actors said in the film."

Flash Gordon

James Cameron, 60, from Musselburgh, said: "I haven't seen a film burn up like that since I was a kid. It brought back a lot of happy memories of when I was a child.

"At Saturday matinee's old Flash Gordon films regularly went up in smoke.

"All the kids pelted the screen with any sweets they had left until the picture was fixed. The usherettes would come rushing in with their battery torches flashing yelling at us to keep quiet and stop throwing stuff at the screen.

"None of us took any notice. The film breakdowns were always more exciting than the pictures."

Mr Cameron said he resisted the temptation to throw anything at the screen, just for old time's sake.

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18 May 01 | Reviews
Recycled return for Mummy
18 May 01 | Reviews
The Mummy Returns: Your views
14 May 01 | Film
Mummy reigns at US box office
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